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Mexico City Transportation

Bus sign
Credit: Jostein Hauge | Thinkstock

Mexico City is a sprawling megalopolis of over 20 million people but fortunately has a well-developed public transportation system. Many expats in Mexico City have automobiles but walking, biking and public transportation may be the best way to get around.

Mexico City is served by a metro rail system that includes all municipalities within the state of Mexico. It is the second largest metro system in North America, after New York City. Sistema de Transporte Colectivo, or STC, carries over 1.6 billion passengers annually, which makes it the ninth busiest metro system in the world.

Last year, STC had 140 miles of track and 12 lines that serve 195 stations. It has 115 underground stations, 54 surface stations and 26 elevated stations. The system operates from 5 a.m. to midnight each day of the week. Fare information and ticket options are available at the STC website.

Another good transportation alternative is Mexico City’s buses. The Mexico City Metrobús, or Sistema de Corredores de Transporte Público de Pasajeros del Distrito Federal, has six lines that interconnect with the city’s other mass transportation systems. An additional line will begin operating in 2017 along Paseo de la Reforma with double-decker buses. Tickets are pre-paid smartcards. You can find more information at this Metrobús website.

Mexico City also has an electrified trolleybus system that operates eight lines and nearly 300 trolleybuses and a light rail system, which are part of the Servicio de Transportes Eléctricos. The light rail system operates in the southern area of Mexico City, serving Coyoacán, Tlalpan and Xochimilco. It has 16 stations and 20 double trains that can carry nearly 400 passengers each. Additional information is available at this Servicio de Transportes Eléctrios website.

Traveling by taxi is another transportation option in Mexico City, but safety has had a checkered past in the city, primarily due to the number of pirate taxis on the street. Your best bet is to walk to the nearest sitio, or taxi rank, to hire an authorized taxi or call for a taxi. Sitio taxis are more expensive than street taxis, but still are far less expensive than other world capitals. The average base rate is about US$.50 and about the same for the first mile traveled.

You can also use Uber to get around in Mexico City.

If you want to get a good workout everyday and help the environment, EcoBici is a public bicycle sharing system in Mexico City. Registered users can rent and return a bike at any EcoBici, docking station. You may sign up for a year, week or day subscription.